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hoyleysox
Premium
join:2003-11-07
Long Beach, CA

Recycling Waste

CA loses $ collecting a tax. (CRV).

Just over 8.5 billion recyclable cans were sold in California last year. The number redeemed for a nickel under California's recycling law: 8.3 billion.

That's a return rate of nearly 100%.

That kind of success isn't just impressive, it's unbelievable. But the recycling rate for certain plastic containers was even higher: 104%.

California's generous recycling redemption program has led to rampant fraud. Crafty entrepreneurs are driving semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona, which don't have deposit laws, across the border and transforming their cargo into truckfuls of nickels. In addition, recyclers inside the state are claiming redemptions for the same containers several times over, or for containers that never existed.

The illicit trade is draining the state's $1.1-billion recycling fund. Government officials recently estimated the fraud at $40 million a year, and an industry expert said it could exceed $200 million. It's one reason the strapped fund paid out $100 million more in expenses last year than it took in from deposits and other sources.

»www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me···51.story

It can't be that hard to solve the budget crisis...


Andy from CA
Premium
join:2008-09-05
Anaheim, CA
WRT recycling cans and bottles, how many here remember the machines they used to have in front of supermarkets? You'd pop in a can or bottle and with two you got 5¢ in coins or store credit.

Then again that was in front of Lucky & Alpha Beta so you know how long ago that was.

hoyleysox
Premium
join:2003-11-07
Long Beach, CA
said by Andy from CA:

WRT recycling cans and bottles, how many here remember the machines they used to have in front of supermarkets? You'd pop in a can or bottle and with two you got 5¢ in coins or store credit.

Then again that was in front of Lucky & Alpha Beta so you know how long ago that was.

I do remember seeing those but I think I was too young to use them. Seemed like an idea that could have worked, wonder what went wrong. Did you have to put the cans in one at a time?

PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
reply to hoyleysox
Yes, but knowing the state mentality they will "fix" it by raising deposits again.


aztecnology
O Rly?
Premium
join:2003-02-12
Murrieta, CA
reply to hoyleysox
Seems like much ado about nothing.

Spending money to enforce this seems like a waste, as well as driving out of state to bring in recyclables seems like you would spend more in gas than what you would redeem...
--
.:|:. aztec being aztec...™


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell
reply to Andy from CA
said by Andy from CA:

WRT recycling cans and bottles, how many here remember the machines they used to have in front of supermarkets?...

Those eventually went away and were replaced by manned recycling centers. The machines worked by reading the barcode on a can or bottle, so you couldn't crush them for storage or remove the label, and they were notoriously finicky about putting the container in with the barcode facing a certain direction, along with being out of order much of the time.

Since one had to insert containers one at a time and there were usually just two machines per location, a long line tended to form. Another problem is that containers that were rejected by the machine as not eligible were left behind, filling trash cans and grocery carts at the stores that hosted these recycling machines.

The machines were also located at Ralphs and Food For Less grocery stores in the LA area.

I have a hunch that those machines were 'gamed' by either their operators or customers, which might have contributed to their removal. Let's just say that the only thing the machines looked for was the barcode, and plastic containers the machines accepted were then shredded on the spot to conserve space in the storage bins.

said by aztecnology:

Spending money to enforce this seems like a waste, as well as driving out of state to bring in recyclables seems like you would spend more in gas than what you would redeem...

If you bring in 500 lbs of aluminum a day or a semi full at one time it would more than pay for the diesel fuel and manpower to do it; don't need to drive clear across the state, just to the nearest friendly recycling center on the CA side.

Since the recycling laws were passed an entire bureaucracy has grown around management and enforcement. When that happens it becomes all but impossible to get rid of. Also the state collects sales tax on those nickels and dimes and they won't give that up without a fight.

With recycling rates near 100% I think it's time. Californians have grown accustomed to recycling by now.

05047572

join:2012-12-24
Is the barcode an ean-13 or something on the bottles being scanned?


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell
Yes, the UPC* barcode is scanned, and checked against a table of products eligible for recycling redemption for the refund amount. To the best of my knowledge, the automated recycling machines only have a barcode scanner and photocell to check for the presence of a bottle or can. They did not use any other technology to determine what was inserted for redemption.

*EAN-13 barcode is used in some European countries, but generally not in the US.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to shortckt
said by shortckt:

said by Andy from CA:

WRT recycling cans and bottles, how many here remember the machines they used to have in front of supermarkets?...

Those eventually went away and were replaced by manned recycling centers. The machines worked by reading the barcode on a can or bottle, so you couldn't crush them for storage or remove the label, and they were notoriously finicky about putting the container in with the barcode facing a certain direction, along with being out of order much of the time.

Since one had to insert containers one at a time and there were usually just two machines per location, a long line tended to form. Another problem is that containers that were rejected by the machine as not eligible were left behind, filling trash cans and grocery carts at the stores that hosted these recycling machines.

The machines were also located at Ralphs and Food For Less grocery stores in the LA area.

I have a hunch that those machines were 'gamed' by either their operators or customers, which might have contributed to their removal. Let's just say that the only thing the machines looked for was the barcode, and plastic containers the machines accepted were then shredded on the spot to conserve space in the storage bins.

said by aztecnology:

Spending money to enforce this seems like a waste, as well as driving out of state to bring in recyclables seems like you would spend more in gas than what you would redeem...

If you bring in 500 lbs of aluminum a day or a semi full at one time it would more than pay for the diesel fuel and manpower to do it; don't need to drive clear across the state, just to the nearest friendly recycling center on the CA side.

Since the recycling laws were passed an entire bureaucracy has grown around management and enforcement. When that happens it becomes all but impossible to get rid of. Also the state collects sales tax on those nickels and dimes and they won't give that up without a fight.

With recycling rates near 100% I think it's time. Californians have grown accustomed to recycling by now.

you could just tie a rope and keep pulling it in and out. Have not tried it but theoretically it should work.
--
Well, does your car at least turn into something else? Sometimes I turn it into a trashcan. Hmm...


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell
said by Anonymous_:

you could just tie a rope....

That's more or less what I was hinting at with I have a hunch that those machines were 'gamed' .... Let's just say that the only thing the machines looked for was the barcode....

The machines were even nice enough to destroy their own evidence when they shredded the plastic bottles, and then printed out essentially untraceable coupons that could be redeemed for cash at the hosting grocery store. As the OP's article points out someone(s) somewhere were making an extra profit.
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